Soccer - Perfect Ball Control - Peter Schreiner - ebook

Soccer - Perfect Ball Control ebook

Peter Schreiner



Want to learn to dribble and feint like Maradona or Ronaldinho, and to juggle the ball like Jay-Jay Okocha or Edgar Davids? In his book, Peter Schreiner clearly and simply shows players and coaches alike how to teach and learn techniques that are required for attractive, offensive soccer. Players become good ball handlers and master tricks that enable them to beat other players and score more goals. Coaches learn how to organize effective and learning-intensive team and individual training.

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Thank you to Norbert Elgert, Sven Huebscher, Horst Wein, Joerg Amthor and Dr. Gerd Thissen for all the suggestions they have given me in discussions or in collaboration in other projects.

Thanks to Justin Kaiser, Christopher Zeh, Mahmud Aiub, Marcello Lopergolo, Kevin Liebe for sparing the time to pose for the photos in this book.

Peter Schreiner


Perfect Ball Control

Meyer & Meyer Sport

Original title: Fuβball – Perfekte Ballbeherrschung

© Meyer & Meyer Verlag, 2009

Translated by Heather Ross

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Soccer – Perfect Ball Control

Peter Schreiner

Maidenhead: Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd., 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84126-738-8

All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means now known or hereafter invented without the prior written permission of the publisher. This book may not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade in any form, binding or cover other than that which is published, without the prior written consent of the publisher.

© 2010 by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd.

2nd Edition, 2011

Auckland, Beirut, Budapest, Cairo, Cape Town, Dubai, Indianapolis,

Kindberg, Maidenhead, Sydney, Olten, Singapore, Tehran, Toronto

Member of the World

Sport Publishers’ Association (WSPA)

Also available in print.

ISBN: 978-1-84126-738-8

E-Mail: [email protected]




Developing and Improving the Feel for the Ball


Balance – the Key to Perfection with the Ball


Perception – Foundation of a Controlled Posture and Precise Movements


Practice: Proprioception and Balance Training


Solo Drills with the Ball


Partner Drills with the Ball


Group Drills


Tackles by an Opponent




Basic Theory


Learning to Juggle


Solo Drills for Beginners

Solo Drills for Advanced Players

Partner and Group Drills

Juggling Competitions

a) Soccer Tennis without a Net

b) Soccer Circuit


a) Roll up

b) Pincer

c) Heel Flick

d) Instep Flick

e) Maradona Flick

f) Kick Flick


Ball Control


Basic Theory


Practice: Drills Focusing on Ball Control


Controlling Balls on the Ground


Controlling Balls in the Air




The Peter Schreiner System




Features of the Peter Schreiner System



Strengths of the Peter Schreiner System



Basic Theory


Ball Control, Ball Driving, Dribbling and Feints


A Good Dribbler Should. . .


10 Basic Rules for Good Dribbling


Dribbling Is Only Useful or Necessary When. . .


Learning to Dribble with the Peter Schreiner System



Practice: Dribbling and Feinting


Basic Drills in Small Groups

Opponent in Front

a) Dummy Step

b) Rivelino Trick

c) Drag-back with the Sole of the Foot

d) 270-degree Turn with the Inside of the Foot

e) Matthews Trick

Drills – Opponent in Front

a) Opponent in Front in Pairs

b) Opponent in Front in Groups of Four

c) Opponent in Front in Groups of Six

d) Triangle with Center

e) Square with Center

Opponent to the Side

a) 270-degree Turn Inward

b) 270-degree Turn Outward

c) Drag-back with the Sole of the Foot

Drills – Opponent from the Side

a) Circle with center

b) Attacks in a triangle

c) Attack from the side


Large Group Training

Basic Theory


Christmas Tree



Figure Eight Dribbling



Opponent from Behind

Possible Moves with the Opponent Behind

Practice: Drills with the Opponent Behind

a) Solo Drills

b) Partner Drills

c) Drills in Groups of Three

d) Goal Scoring Drills


Use in Game Situations

Zidane Turn

Use in Tackles

Game Situations on the Wing

Game Situations on the Halfway Line


Use in Small Competitions and Game Forms

Shaking Off an Opponent and Shooting at the Goal

1v1 Playing Down the Line

2v2 Playing Down the Line

1v1 to Four Small Goals

4v4 in Doubled Penalty Area



4. 1

Basic Theory


Drills for Beginners


Partner Drill 1 (with Ball)


Partner Drill 2 (with Two Balls)


Infinite Passing in a Square (Groups of Five)


Passing in a Triangle


Passing into a Player’s Path


Drills for Advanced Players


Give and Go in a Triangle


Direct Pass in a Diamond – Basic Drill


Direct Passing in a Diamond (Variation 1)


Direct Pass in a Diamond – One-Two


Zigzag Passing Game




Odd-sided Passing

3v1 Basic Drill

3v1 Field Change 1 (3 + 1v1)

4v2 Basic Form

4v2 Game Shift 1 (4v2 + 2)

4v2 Game Shift 2 (4v2 + 1+1)

6v4 in Outside Square

6v4 in a Rectangle


Odd-sided Games with Neutral Players

1v1 + 2 with 2 Neutral Players

2v2 + 4 Neutral Players in the Corners


Small Competitions


Dribblers against Passers


Passing around a Square


Goal-pass Competition


Driving the Ball




Basic Theory


Giving and Exploiting Crosses


Crossing Circuit


Crossing after Team Play with Partner


Crossing under Time Pressure


Crossing under Pressure from Opponent

1v1 on the Wing with Crosses

2v1 after Pass by Defender

5v5 – Crossing Under Pressure from Opponent


Complex Crossing Drills

Complex Wing Play Training

Combination Play on the Wing


Crossing in Game Forms

4v2 with Alternating Cross Players

Game with Wing Zones

7v7 with Taboo Zone


Shooting at the Goal


Basic Theory


Goal Shooting Technique Training


Game-specific Goal Shooting Training


Learning Systematically How to Shoot at the Goal


Practice Section


Learning Stage 1: Basic Drills for Beginners

Shot at the Goal with a Still Ball

Shooting at the Goal after Dribbling Straight Ahead

Turn and Shot

Shot at the Goal after Taking Possession of the Ball

Shot at the Goal after Diagonal Pass with Ball Control

Shot at the Goal after Square Pass with Ball Control

Shot at the Goal after Back Pass with Ball Control

Shot at the Goal after Long Ball with Ball Control

Turn and Shot after Taking the Ball to the Side


Learning Stage 2: Basic Drills for Advanced Players

Preliminary Drill – Solo Run at Goal

Direct Shot at the Goal after Diagonal Pass

Direct Shot at the Goal after Square Pass into Player’s Path

Direct Shot at the Goal after Backward Pass from Goal Line

Direct Shot at the Goal after Long Ball into Player’s Path

Direct Turn and Shot after Pass


Learning Stage 3: Double Action

Double Action 1

Double Action 2


Learning Stage 4: Complex Drills

Direct Pass in Square with Shot at the Goal (1)

Direct Pass in Square with Shot at the Goal (2)

One-Two with Shot at the Goal


Learning Stage 5: Shot at the Goal after High Ball

Preliminary Drill: Drop Kick and Frontal Volley

Hip Turn Shot

Shot at the Goal from Thrown Ball (with Feet or Head)

Shot at the Goal from High Ball


Learning Stage 6: Shot at the Goal after Tackle

Shot at the Goal after Tackle (1)

Shot at the Goal after Tackle (2)

Shot at the Goal after Tackle (3)


Learning Stage 7: Shot at the Goal under Time Pressure

Cone Kicking

Kicking Balls off Cones

Passing Sequence with Shot at the Goal

3v1 + 1 from Behind

3v1 +2 from Behind


Learning Stage 8: Game Forms

2v1 with Small Goals

4v2 with 1 Goal

4v1 Goal Scoring Game with Long-range Shots

4v4 + 4 Pass Receivers with One Goal

4+4v4+4 in Doubled Penalty Area

Playing to 4 Goals in a Cross-formation


Books & DVDs

Photo & Illustration Credits


The modern game of soccer puts players of all abilities under great pressure from both time and opponents. It is rarely possible to receive the ball calmly and then dribble, pass or shoot at the goal. Only players who have perfect ball control in the most difficult situations can quickly and safely – often on the move – be able to play successful soccer.

Perfect ball control does not just begin when the ball is at the player’s foot; it should always be seen in the context of a game situation and an opponent. Well before the first touch of the ball, the player should be preparing to receive it by absorbing information and making split-second judgments as to which move would best suit this particular game scenario (anticipation). His/her decisions and the way he plays as a result determine the success of his

Perfect ball control can therefore be divided into four phases:


Preparation for the first touch (perception, release, adopting the body position necessary for the game situation).


The first touch.


Actions with the ball (dribbling, feints).


Final action (pass, cross, shot at the goal).

Phase 1: Preparation for the first touch

In a soccer game, a player takes in many different signals that help him to evaluate the game situation and to play with clever tactics. The player therefore prepares for the first touch so that he can safely control the ball and the opponent. This involves adopting an open and game-appropriate body position; his body is balanced and is perfectly prepared for the first touch.

Phase 2: The first touch

The player traps the ball with feeling, controls it and guides it directly to his teammate or takes a shot at the goal. The first touch should always be purposeful. The player prepares the action with the ball and thinks about the direction of the follow-through move.

Phase 3: Moves with ball possession

After controlling the ball, the player shields the ball and secures possession of the ball for his team. If a space opens up for the player, he opts to control the ball or tempo dribble with a view to preparing to pass to a teammate or take a shot at the goal. If necessary, he shakes off an opponent with a feint.

Phase 4: Final action

In the last ball control phase, the player makes a split-second decision as to what to do with the ball next and then puts his decision into practice either alone or with a teammate. A great deal of practice is needed to acquire a feel for the right amount of energy to use when receiving the ball, passing the ball, crossing or shooting at the goal. The ball reacts immediately to the slightest error (e.g. kicking the wrong part of the ball at the wrong time or kicking it too hard) thus leading to the ball being lost. The player must adapt his movements to those of the ball, thus developing a feeling for the ball which is critical for good ball technique.

This book contains basic theories and tried and tested and effective drills which will help your players learn to control their bodies, the ball and the attacking opponent.




Balance – the Key to Perfection with the Ball

Top players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho control the ball at top speed and in extremely pressured situations both on the ground and in the air. This requires outstanding coordination and, in particular, exceptional balance. The player must adjust to the forces that are constantly acting on his/her body. Good physical perception and quick movement control are necessary after jumping, turning and being tackled by opponents.

Top players do not allow themselves to be caught off guard by a tackle, they adapt their movements to the pressure without losing balance.

Problems with their balance also mean problems with the ball!

Lack of balance leads to instability and technical problems. Small deviations, e.g. in the foot placement of the standing leg, make the difference between:

Fast and safe ball control or losing the ball.

Accurate diagonal passes or a missed opportunity to counterattack.

Accurate cross or shots behind the goal.

Scoring a goal or hitting the post.

Perfect soccer technique starts with the feet, so that drills on soft surfaces are essential for the development of technical precision.


Perception – the Foundation of Controlled Body Posture and Precise Movements

Only players who are able to perceive their surroundings and their bodies quickly and accurately can adapt their physical posture, running and soccer technique to a changing game situation. Perception is therefore a fundamental prerequisite for perfect ball control.

When we talk about perception, we think first of all of the eyes, for they receive important visual information about the movement of the ball, opponent and teammates. The ears not only receive acoustic signals, such as the whistle, shouting and the noise of the ball, but the inner ear also provides information on the turns and movement speed of our own bodies, which is indispensable for dynamic balance.

Kinesthesia and proprioception are required to play technically perfect soccer. Pressure changes in the skin inform a player about what an opponent is doing behind his back.

The knowledge of the speed and angular position of the joints is necessary for an accurate kicking technique, particularly when the player is watching the ball or the movements of his teammates. Information from the muscles, tendons and ligaments complete the player’s inner picture of his/her posture, and proper ball control is only possible with quick and accurate inner perception.

Where does balance originate?

Sense of balance – vestibular apparatus.

In the muscles and tendons (kinesthetic analyzers), tensions, changes, lengths.

Posture and startle reflexes guarantee a normal physical posture and balance.

Tactile analyzers (vibrations, type of surface, depth of impression, sense of posture, spatial awareness).

Visual analyzers (eyes), anticipation – particularly important in complex movements.

Processing in central nervous system (coordination of voluntary movements – carrying out targeted movements) – comparison with previous experiences.

Balance drills teach movement stability, postural stability and physical self-confidence, thus leading to better technique.

Postural stability

Physical posture becomes more stable and helps the player to win tackles and to pass the ball accurately or shoot at the goal despite being tackled by an opponent. Experienced players anticipate physical contact and the resulting pressure on the body by an opponent and do not let this unbalance them. This ability is also improved by gaining strength and improving inter- and intramuscular coordination.


Proprioception training boosts the players’ confidence in their own bodies and their bodies’ capacity to develop in order to cope with the different demands of the game, particularly where the players’ tackling ability is concerned.

How does proprioception training work?

Proprioception training works on the awareness of movements, the position of the joints and muscle tension.

Movement sense

Although players don’t see how their legs move, they sense the movement. They control and regulate the desired motion sequence via the movement sense in their joints.

Position sense

The position sense in the joints enables players to, e.g., set the position of their ankle when kicking. They sense the position of their foot and control their kicking technique without looking at their feet. This sense also allows them to perceive and control their body’s position in space.

Force sense

Feedback on muscle tension and the muscle tension relationships in the body complements the movement sense of the limbs and the postural sense.

There are three types of balance:

Static Balance

Static balance involves the maintenance and restoration of balance at relative rest or during very slow movement without changing place.

Dynamic Balance

Good dynamic balance is required for jumping and turning and rapid changes of direction.

Object Balance

Object balance involves trying to hold or move an object while balancing it.

The training of balance is an indispensable part of the training program, from kids and young players right up to professionals.


Practice: Proprioception and Balance Training


Solo Drills with the Ball

Ball on the ground – swinging movements with the foot around the ball (circle, figure eight).

Move the ball on the ground with the foot (left-right or back and forth).


Partner Drills with the Ball

Passing on the ground with the inside of the foot (left/right).

Passing with the inside of the foot

Standing on one leg (left and right) + throwing and catching the ball with both hands (varying distances: from very close to 3 yards away).

Throwing in different directions

  to the chest, over the head.

  to the left and right.

  at knee height.

Catching and throwing

Ball control (chest, thigh, instep, head) + catching and throwing back.


Trapping the ball (chest, thigh, instep) + passing back.

Volley (inside of the foot, instep, hip turn kick) and header.


both players head the ball.


Group Drills

Groups of three (one player on the mat, 90°)

Two players take turns in throwing the ball to the partner in the middle. The player in the middle passes the ball back either directly or after controlling it.

Ball control techniques:

chest, thigh, inside, instep.

Passing techniques:

inside, instep, hip turn kick.

Groups of three (one player on the mat, 180°)

The player in the middle turns around 180°.

Ball control:

chest or thigh.

Techniques Pass:

Inside, instep, hip turn kick, head.

Groups of three (all players on the mat)

Three players form a triangle on a mat and pass the ball to each other.

Throw – header to next player – catch.

Throw – kick with the inside of the foot (volley) to next player – catch.

Throw – hip turn kick (volley) to next player – catch.

Variations for advanced players: